Speakers

Tuesday, September 13, 2022 at 7:00 – 8:30 AM PST

Theme: Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation – Supporting BC’s Climate Targets

Hon. Bruce Ralston, Minister of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation, Government of BC

Bruce Ralston Q.C., was appointed as B.C.’s Minister of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation in November 2020, after serving as Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources since January 2020. He previously served as Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology beginning on July 18, 2017. He has served as MLA for Surrey-Whalley since first being elected in 2005. Surrey-Whalley voters have re-elected him four consecutive times since then.

Minister Ralston leads the government’s key initiatives in energy, which include supporting the implementation of CleanBC – government’s plan for climate action – and driving innovation in the clean technology sector.

Minister Ralston also oversees BC Hydro to ensure B.C.’s wealth of clean, affordable, and reliable hydro-electricity powers the province into the future. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Minister Ralston oversaw BC Hydro rate decreases in 2020-21, the first in decades. British Columbians and businesses received a one-time bill credit in early 2021 as a result. With experience and relationships in technology and trade, he is working to help B.C. reach new markets for its low-carbon products and to secure investment in the mining sector.

Minister Ralston was born in Victoria and grew up in Vancouver. He ran a successful law practice in Vancouver and Surrey for 23 years. He has degrees in history and law from the University of British Columbia and a degree in history from the University of Cambridge in England.


Mayor Brad West, City of Port Coquitlam

A life-long resident of Port Coquitlam, Brad West was first elected to Council in 2008. He was re-elected in 2011 and 2014, receiving the most votes of all candidates both times. In 2018, Brad was elected as the 16th Mayor of the City of Port Coquitlam.

Brad is focused on the key priorities of our residents:

  • Ensuring Port Coquitlam is the best place in BC to raise a family.
  • Making life more affordable for everyone, especially working families and seniors.
  • Respecting taxpayers with responsible financial management.
  • Attracting more and diverse businesses and amenities to Port Coquitlam, especially our downtown.
  • Promoting sports and recreation opportunities.
  • Enhancing our natural environment, rivers, trails and parks.

Brad lives in Port Coquitlam with his wife Blaire. In 2017, the couple welcomed their first child, Liam, and in 2021, their family welcomed a second son, Owen. Being a Dad motivates Brad every day to make Port Coquitlam a place future generation will be proud to call home.

He is a graduate of the University of Victoria, St. Francis Xavier University and most recently completed a program in Leadership at Harvard University.


Colleen Giroux Schmidt, Vice President – Corporate Relations, Innergex

Colleen Giroux-Schmidt joined Innergex in 2011. As Vice President – Corporate Relations, she leads the engagement and relationship activities with all levels of government, communities, strategic partners and other stakeholders.

Her team leads the policy research and advocacy portfolio with the goal of increasing renewable energy opportunities to help jurisdictions meet their climate change goals. Colleen continues to participate in government working groups and task forces, both provincially and federally, as well as leads Innergex’s work with the Energy Forum, a collaborative table of representatives from the ENGO community and the renewable energy industry and was appointed to the federal government’s Generation Energy Council. She has served as a renewable energy expert on different panels and has received awards for her significant expertise and contribution to the renewable energy sector both in BC and across Canada. Colleen is also responsible for the management of Innergex’s Vancouver office.

Prior to joining Innergex, Ms. Giroux-Schmidt was Director, Environment and Manager, Major Projects at Plutonic Power Corporation and worked many years for the Association of Mineral Exploration BC. She served as the first female Chair of the Board of Directors for Clean Energy BC from 2014 through 2017. She holds a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in History and English from Simon Fraser University.


Jennie Gjertsen, Sustainability and External Relations Manager, Newmont

Jennie Gjertsen is the Sustainability and External Relations Manager at Newmont’s Coffee Gold project in Yukon. She has worked in the mining sector for 15 years through various mine life cycle phases, including: advanced exploration, environmental assessment, permitting, construction and production of three base metal and gold mines. She works closely with First Nations communities and all levels of government to ensure that the environmental and social concerns of communities are integrated into Newmont’s mien operation and closure planning. Jennie holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of British Columbia.


Moderator: Leah Turner, Director, Public Affairs, Tourmaline

Leah Turner is the Director of Public Affairs at Tourmaline, Canada’s largest natural gas producer. Mrs. Turner and her team spearhead government relations, as well as the company’s broader communications and advocacy efforts. A passionate natural gas advocate with more than 18 years of oil and gas experience, she works closely with both the executive and ESG teams to develop, implement and share Tourmaline’s sustainability efforts. Prior to her role in public affairs, she held a variety of finance and accounting positions within the organization, as well as its predecessor Duvernay Oil Corp.

Mrs. Turner is a Chartered Accountant with a Bachelor of Commerce in Accounting and Finance from the University of Alberta. 


Wednesday, September 14, 2022 at 7:00 – 8:30 AM PST

Theme: Integrated Land and Natural Resource Management

Hon. Josie Osborne, Minister of Land, Water and Resource Stewardship and Minister Responsible for Fisheries

Josie Osborne was elected as MLA for Mid Island-Pacific Rim in 2020.  She grew up on Vancouver Island and has lived in Tofino for over 20 years, first moving there to work as a fisheries biologist for the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council and later as executive director of an environmental education non-profit organization. 

She has significant experience in local government, including serving as Mayor of Tofino from 2013-2020 and as Chair and Vice-Chair for the Alberni Clayoquot Regional District. During her time in local government, Josie chaired the Tofino Housing Corporation and was a strong proponent for active transportation and regional transit. She has served as Chair of the Board for the Island Coastal Economic Trust, and in 2017, she was appointed by the BC Minister of Environment and Climate Change to the BC Clean Growth and Climate Action Advisory Council.  

Josie studied marine biology at the University of British Columbia and completed a Master’s in resource management at Simon Fraser University. She has worked to advance sustainable development throughout her career in public service. Josie lives with her husband on 10 acres in Tofino with their dog, three goats, and a coop full of chickens.


Mayor Gladys Atrill, Town of Smithers

Gladys Atrill, is Mayor of the Town of Smithers. She was first elected to Council in 2014 and to the Mayor’s role in 2020 in a by-election.  Gladys is a lifelong Smithereen and has been involved in many community organizations prior to joining local government.  

In her working career, she has been involved in the Tourism Industry since the mid-80’s including in teaching and guiding and leading the community Destination Marketing Organization.  


Nalaine Morin, Vice President of Sustainability, Skeena Resources


© 2019 HA Photography

Domenico Iannidinardo, SVP Forest & Climate and Chief Forester, Mosaic Forest Management

Domenico delivers over two decades of leadership and executive management experience in operational and strategic aspects of the forest industry. He is a board member of the Private Forest Landowners Association and the Marmot Recovery Foundation, is Co-Chair of the BC Forest Genetics Council, and is Chair of the Canadian Federation of Forest Owners.

Domenico holds degrees in forest operations and business administration from the University of British Columbia and Royal Roads University. He leads forestry programs, forest and watershed health, government and public affairs, climate and carbon credit sales, and Indigenous investments and partnerships. Domenico is an active member of the Canadian Institute of Forestry and is a Professional Forester, Biologist and Engineer.


Moderator: Michael Goehring, President and CEO, Mining Association of BC

Michael Goehring joined the Mining Association of British Columbia as President and CEO in 2019. Mr. Goehring brings more than 20 years’ experience providing public affairs and strategic communications counsel to many of Canada’s leading natural resource companies. He joined MABC following a successful career as a partner in the Vancouver office of Canada’s largest communications firm.

Michael has built a strong reputation for advancing challenging public policy files and delivering successful advocacy and communications campaigns. He brings expertise in a number of communications disciplines, including reputation management, issues and crisis management, corporate relations, media relations, stakeholder and community relations, government relations, advocacy and regulatory affairs. Michael is a member of the Public Affairs Association of Canada, serves as vice president of the board of the Vancouver Thunderbird Minor Hockey Association, and is past president of the board of directors of the Turning Point Recovery Society.

A native of British Columbia, he holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of British Columbia and pursued Graduate Studies in International Political Economy at Simon Fraser University.


Thursday, September 15, 2022 at 7:00 – 8:30 AM PST

Innovation in Forestry

Hon. Katrine Conroy, Minister of Forests, Government of BC

Katrine Conroy was first elected as the MLA for Kootenay West in May 2009 and has represented the West Kootenays since 2005.  Katrine previously served as the Minister of Children and Family Development and worked to make life better for families across the Province.  

Katrine had a varied career before becoming an MLA. She was one of B.C.’s first female power engineers and worked as an early childhood educator, administrator, college instructor, and a small business person.

Katrine has worked and volunteered in her community as the executive director of Kootenay Family Place, an instructor at Selkirk College; co-chair of the Castlegar and District Social Planning Council, treasurer of the Regional District of Central Kootenay Community Futures Board and founding board member of the Community Social Services Employers Association.

Katrine lives in Pass Creek on a  ranch breeding prize-winning Polled Hereford cattle. She has four children and nine grandchildren.


Mayor Joan Atkinson, District of Mackenzie 

Joan was acclaimed Mayor of Mackenzie in 2018 after serving 11 years as a municipal councillor.  Joan spent her entire working career in public service having worked for the federal government and the provincial governments of Ontario, Manitoba and British Columbia.  Her husband Jim is a retired forest professional, and their two sons have followed in their father’s footsteps.   Joan says her family’s involvement in the forest industry has greatly enhanced her understanding of the industry and its challenges and opportunities.   

Joan is optimistic about the future of forestry in the Mackenzie Timber Supply Area and is looking forward to policy/legislation changes that focus on people and local communities.  Joan will be seeking re-election on October 15th with a focus of advancing the forest industry in Mackenzie; the industry solely responsible for the building of Mackenzie under the Instant Town Act in 1966


Scott Weatherford, President of Atco Wood Products & Executive Board Member of ILMA

Scott is the Chief Executive Officer at ATCO Wood Products – a 3rd generation family forestry and wood products manufacturing company located in Fruitvale.   ATCO specializes in producing high-quality softwood veneer, and sustainably managing the forests where we work, play and live.     ATCO was recognized as the BC Natural Resource Exporter of the Year in 2017, and the BC & Canadian Family Business of the Year in 2018.   Scott is also an Executive Director of the Interior Lumber Manufacturer’s Association (ILMA).  The ILMA is the collective voice of independent and family-owned mills, forestry companies, and associated organizations in communities across the southern interior of B.C. who believe great things happen when the right log goes to the right mill. 

Scott began his tenure with ATCO 2005 as a manufacturing engineer.  In 2007, Scott and his wife, Rebecca, founded ATCO Wood Products Ltd., as part of the reorganization of ATCO Lumber Ltd.  Prior to joining ATCO, Scott worked in the Heavy Equipment Industry holding various assignments in engineering, purchasing and auditing with PACCAR Inc. (Bellevue, Washington), with Kenworth Truck Company (Kirkland, WA) and with John Deere (Moline, Illinois).  Scott holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Cornell University and an MBA from the University of Washington.  Scott has also been involved in numerous volunteer roles throughout the West Kootenay including Rotary International, Scouts Canada, the Lower Columbia Initiatives Corporation, and Selkirk College Board of Governors (currently serving as past Chair).   Scott lives in the beautiful West Kootenay town of Fruitvale, BC with his wife Rebecca, and children Madysson and Mason.


Moderator: Linda Coady, President and CEO, BC Council of Forest Industries

Linda Coady joined the BC Council of Forest Industries on July 18, 2022 as the President and CEO. 

Prior to joining COFI, Linda was the Executive Director of the Pembina Institute. Her other roles prior to that was Chief Sustainability Officer for Enbridge Inc., Vice-President of Sustainability for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games, Vice-President of the Pacific Region for World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Canada, and Vice-President of Environmental Affairs for the BC Coastal Group of Weyerhaeuser Canada.

Linda has also been a Distinguished Fellow at the Liu Institute for Global Issues at the University of British Columbia (UBC) and has taught corporate social responsibility at UBC’s Sauder School of Business. She has served on several advisory groups to different levels of government on climate and energy issues, including as a member of the City of Vancouver’s 2009 “Greenest City” Task Force, the 2015 Advisory Panel to the Province of Alberta on Climate Leadership, and the 2018 Generation Energy Council to the Government of Canada. She was recently appointed to Canada’s Net-Zero Advisory Body, which provides independent advice to the federal government on meeting requirements under Canada’s new Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act.